With free agency underway, it’s time to think about Patriots expanded roles in 2023. There will be a new offense implemented by Offensive Coordinator Bill O’Brien which gives veterans and also new players a chance to step up. Not to mention that the defense will also see new expanded roles with Devin McCourty recently retiring.
It’s easy to point towards a young quarterback having an expanded role. But, what about the rest of the team? Could any free agent signees have an immediate impact and see an immediate expanded role from their previous team?
Three Patriots that should have expanded roles in 2023
Kendrick Bourne has a breakout season
It’s Kendrick Bourne’s third year in New England. Last season was nearly forgettable for Bourne because of the lack of time he saw on the field. Now that it’s Bill O’Brien running the offense Bourne will see the field more than last year.
Yes, the Patriots did sign JuJu Smith-Schuster. But, even with JuJu, Bourne should be the number one receiver for Mac Jones. Bourne should be a popular down field target for Mac and also a popular red zone target as well.
Rhamondre Stevenson takes the offensive spotlight
Rhamondre Stevenson must be talked about when it comes to Patriots expanded roles. With Damien Harris off to Buffalo and James Robinson coming in there’s no doubt who the starting running back will be week one. Stevenson has been dynamic since his rookie year and now he has the chance to really show what he’s got.
The Patriots offense has always been screen or check down heavy. Now that it’ll be Stevenson getting the ball more his stats should skyrocket from last season.
Kyle Dugger becomes the voice of the secondary
When it comes to Patriots expanded roles the secondary must be mentioned. The secondary needs a new voice with Devin McCourty’s retirement. Insert Kyle Dugger. Dugger has improved every year and now this season his leadership on the field will show.
Filling McCourty’s shoes will be a daunting task. But, with how quickly Dugger has risen within the organization (and also becoming a fan favorite), this should not be a problem for the hard hitting safety.
Dugger also will continue to be a quarterback’s nightmare with his quick decision making on the field. The Patriots secondary is in good hands with Kyle Dugger leading the way.